HOME United will come back to Singapore with an edge after holding 10-men Global Cebu FC to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the AFC Cup zonal semifinals on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Home United substitute Stipe Plazibat delivered the equalizer just before the final whistle when he scored a header off a tough angle from the setpiece in the 94th minute.
It was an unfortunate result, considering Global had chances to put the game away with close calls from Misagh Bahadoran and Hikaru Minegeshi - only to be denied by Home 'keeper Hassan Sunny.
Instead, the Singapore side will go home a contented visitor, as it not only salvaged a draw but got two away goals with them heading back to Bishan for the return leg on the May 30.
"They were nervous at the start. It wasn't easy to come here to play. But after a few minutes, they settled down, hey believed, we made some changea and it was good for us," said Home coach Aidil Sahak, who had some good words for his 'keeper after the match.
"He (Sunny) saved us. It could have been 3-1. He made some great saves," he added.
Darryl Roberts opened the scoring for the hosts in the 14th minute off a fine strike from inside the box.
Adam Bin Swandi equalized in the 34th, but it still looked like Global had the upper hand with their fluid attack and constant pressure.
Amani Aguinaldo then put the Cebu side back on top with a fine header off a Minegeshi corner in the 54th minute. But Aguinaldo's night was cut short as he collected his second yellow in the 75th minute, forcing Global to play with 10 men the rest of the way.
"We dominated the game in the second half, we scored again, we had a lot of chances but the goalkeeping of Home United was tremendous," said Global head coach Marjo Alladom.
"Actually no (satisfied). We had a lot of chances but in the last minute we lost focus in the marking. That's why we were left frustrated with the result," he added.